This is not a book review. It’s not even a review of a review. Call this, instead, an indication.
I see in the New York Times Sunday Book Review a new book entitled Just Ride by Grant Petersen. I like the sound of this new book according to the description of the reviewer. It appears Petersen is challenging the hegemony of sport bicycling in our American bicycling culture (such as it is).
I didn’t like the last quote in the review: “No matter how much your bike costs,” he says, “unless you use it to make a living, it is a toy, and it should be fun.” This single sentence quoted by the reviewer lacks crucial context. So I have no way of knowing if Petersen actually thinks of bicycles as toys or whether he is using toy as a metaphor to make a particular point. I will say this, however: Bicycles, at least in the State of Missouri, are vehicles, and I’m disinclined the think of them any other way no matter what point Petersen is trying to make.
My disinclination springs from my own bicycling context that Carbon Trace readers ought to fully understand by now: I am a transportation bicyclist. I ride to get from point A to point B. It is rare for me to ride just for fun (it’s always fun!), and I never ride for sport. I do no not own a sport bicycle, nor do I own any article of clothing or piece of equipment that can be understood, or used, as sport bicycling equipment. I’m not anti-sport-bicycling. I’m just not interested.
I am, however, anti-sport-bicycling-hegemony. And that appears to be the thematic thrust of Petersen’s book. So, yeah, cool.
I am reading, and intend to review, On Bicycles — a collection of short essays published last year (nothing like getting off the dime!).